Greetings to one and all. I hope that this letter finds you in good health, with your spirits lifted high in all aspects of life. During this special season we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Matthew 2:11 - And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 1:18-25- Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 2:7 - And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
What greater cause is there to celebrate? Jesus is the reason! Of course, we take this time to express to our loved ones how much they mean to us through the giving of gifts and gathering together. Often these gatherings are held at the homes of loved ones or friends over a hot meal and drinks.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him wouldn't perish, but would have eternal life.
It is during this most coveted time of the year when many are alone and depressed. The correct term for it is called social isolation. It is prevalent during the holidays. As we prepare to gather together with our loved ones and friends it is easy to forget that so many have no one to celebrate with, and no where to go. Many families have to celebrate without their loved ones whom are overseas in the military. For the people who spend a good
portion of the year alone already, the feeling of sorrow must be overwhelming as everyone else spends time with their loved ones.
Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
Friends, I encourage you to think about who you can give to beyond your usual sphere of influence. Sadly, unless those like you and I consider the less fortunate, they may end up with nothing at all this Christmas season. Think of those who would be tremendously blessed by your giving. A lot of families simply don't have the money to purchase gifts for their loved ones. If it were not for charities like toys for tots or Salvation Army, some children would not receive gifts. I thank God for those willing to donate, for the workers willing to help gather and present those donations.
Remember that a gift to someone is about the heart and not necessarily the material value or size of the present. There are many ways to give beyond money or financial donations. A simple hot meal could make a world of difference in a person's life. To have one less meal to worry about when finding food is a big struggle will certainly provide joy during this season. Acts of kindness are not defined by the rules society has established
but rather by the size of one's heart.
Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Also, while I do not condemn those who endure with the tradition of "Santa clause," it is important that we remember to give thanks to the true giver of all good gifts, our Lord. While the idea of a round, jolly man with a white beard and red suit sliding the down the chimney to drop off piles of gifts may seem cute and alluring, it is a big detractor from Christ who is the real reason for our celebratory exchanges. By simply rearranging the letters it is easy to spell Satan. Once again I don't condemn those who want to have fun with the idea of Santa, but it should never take precedent in our lives.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
God loves us and blesses us with gifts each day. He doesn't deserve to have his praise and admiration passed along to some imaginary figure who doesn't give ANY gifts at all. I thank God for all that he has done to protect and provide for me, my loved ones throughout this year. It truly is a blessing to be here. I don't have a long list of things I want this year. In fact, if I received nothing extra at all I will be just as joyous. I have my loved ones, my health and strength, a job, and a roof over my head. I am not out in the cold or begging for a bite to eat.
What more do I really need? Anything beyond these things are indeed a gift from the Lord. He has been good to me. I pray that He will use me to be a blessing for someone else who doesn't have as much as I do. Will you allow the Lord to use you to bless someone else? You will only receive honor and favor from the Lord by allowing Him to use you. Remember that it is better to give than to receive. Think of the warmth you will feel knowing that despite your other obligations and responsibilities that you sacrificed to help someone in need.
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
I want to thank each of you who reads this blog and receives the messages in your hearts. God is with you no matter where you are. I pray that each of you has a blessed and wonderful Christmas this year. Remember to celebrate the true reason for the season; Jesus. Lets close out this year on a good note so that we can enter 2015 refreshed for the journey ahead! As always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!